Healthy BBQ Tips to Become King of the Grill

Grilling is a fun and flavourful way to cook, especially during those hot sunny days. It is also a great alternative to cooking on a stove when you want to try something new. And who doesn’t love to cook together with friends and family, especially during the holidays?

The best part is that grilling can be one of the healthiest ways to cook! All it takes is a little preparation and a few key tips and tricks. Always use healthy ingredients like Naturel Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray range that comes in a myriad of flavours and a triple mechanism spray function that will keep your grilled eats healthy and flavourful without excessive oil.


Grill Preparation

One of the most underrated preparations that is often overlooked is the preparation of the grill itself. Most people focus on marination when they want to barbecue or grill but taking care of the grill is the first step to any good meal. Start out with a clean grill and try not to let the charred build-up on your grill transfer to your meat.

To prevent this, use a wire brush to give your grill a good cleaning. Then wipe it down with a cloth or wadded-up bunch of paper towels to make sure that no grill-cleaning bristles will get into your food.

Be sure to scrub down the rack or grill pan before and after each use. Removing leftover burnt pieces of food stuck to the grill prevents burning, smoking, and bitter flavours the next time you use it.

Other than ensuring that your food is grilled perfectly, a clean grill also protects your food from being contaminated with bacteria that can make you sick.


Preparing and Cooking

Grilling doesn’t have to be an array of overcooked and over-processed meats. With careful preparation, consideration, and some research, you’ll find that grilling can actually be a lot more healthy than it usually is.


Pick the right meat

Fish, skinless chicken breast, and lean ground poultry are all healthier options. The good fats in fish like salmon and trout actually have health benefits. Try to avoid red meats which usually contain more saturated fat.

Wrap marinated fish fillets in foil, construct colourful chicken kebabs, or make more savoury burgers by mixing minced mushrooms and onions into the patties. 

If you do choose red meat, get loin or round cuts and choice grades of beef instead of prime.


Marinate your meat

Here is where everyone takes it to another level. Everyone has their own favourite marinade and secret recipes that will make their grills and barbecues essentially their own. However, there are some things you can do to make sure your marinade is in keeping with your healthy eating habits.

Marinating or rubbing spices on poultry, fish and meat can add amazing flavour, without adding too much salt to your food.

Marinating your meat with ingredients like fresh herbs, olive oils, and balsamic vinegar not only adds flavour but acts as a barrier between flames and your meat, poultry or fish.


Include more vegetables

For a nutritionally balanced barbecue or grilled meal, focus on filling at least half your plate with fresh or grilled vegetables. A fresh salad is always a great choice, but you can also pair fresh veggies with dips.

Try to grill your vegetables over indirect heat to avoid charring. Vegetables like corn, bell peppers, and asparagus will taste great grilled. When added to the grilled meat like in kebab form, they also lend their delicious flavours to the meat itself.


Avoid charring meats

On the topic of charring food, numerous studies have shown that eating charred meats can increase the risk for certain types of cancer.

Studies have shown that charring meat, poultry and fish can lead to the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs), carcinogens that may cause cancer.

You can reduce this in several ways: Line the grill with foil perforated with holes, cook for longer at a lower temperature, and have a spray bottle filled with water handy to control flare-ups.


Room for Dessert

Any good barbecue session wouldn’t be complete without dessert! There are loads of options for sweet treats at a barbecue that will be delectable and full of nutrition.


Fruits for dessert

You can try grilling fruits as your desserts! The natural sugars caramelise in high heat, giving them extra sweetness and flavour. Try sliced apples, pears, pineapples, halved bananas, figs, nectarines, peaches, or plums.

Or even just fresh plain fruit will serve as a good dessert! Watermelon is a good choice for those hot and sunny days out.

To get the most of the fruits you have chosen for your barbecue meal, you can take some of them and turn them into juices. Fruits like watermelon, pineapple and citrus make amazing thirst quenchers. You can add Naturel Organic Coconut Nectar in your juices as a substitute to sugar or honey! This natural and aromatic sweetener from coconut flowers is a great way to keep your drinks deliciously healthy. Check out this yummy Coco Quencher recipe for inspiration.


Homemade popsicles

Another dessert idea that will be a sure-fire hit for everyone is homemade popsicles. Using frozen fruits to blend and freeze into tasty popsicles is another way to have a delicious dessert without missing any nutritional value!

With popsicle moulds or plastic cups, these are easy to make. Peach, strawberry, and mango make delightfully sweet and healthy popsicles.

Grilling food, especially on a barbecue, is both fun and delicious. With the right knowledge, it can also be extremely healthy compared to other methods of cooking, and you might even prefer it! 

These tips should definitely help your grilling technique and boost the nutritional content of your food, and will definitely impress your friends and family the next time you decide to have a barbecue outing. Happy grilling!